Jules Tavernier: The Volcano Artist

Today in history — April 27, 1844 — Hawaiian volcano artist Jules Tavernier was born in Paris, France. Although he lived only his final five years in Hawaii, Tavernier painted as the most significant artist in Hawaii’s Volcano School (non-native Hawaiian artists who painted night scenes of Hawaii’s erupting volcanoes).
Beyond the jagged cliffs of Kilauea Volcano, the Halemaumau lava lake’s orange red glow illuminates the night (left image). Above, smoke shrouds the lake, and a full moon peeks behind grayish black clouds.

To paint this picture, in 1887, Jules Tavernier (1844-1889) made a grueling one-to-two day journey on horseback up to Kilauea’s peak.

Although the English French artist spent less than five years in Hawaii, Tavernier is considered the most significant artist in Hawaii’s Volcano School … Read more

Jules Tavernier: The Volcano Artist
https://hdnpblog.wordpress.com/historical-articles/jules-tavernier-the-volcano-artist/


Sinking of the Titanic

Today in history — April 15, 1912 — “Iceberg straight ahead!”, exclaimed a sailor on the RMS Titanic, the infamous cruise ship. Regardless of whether the quote from the movie Titanic was actually said, the sailors on the real RMS Titanic did spot an iceberg while sailing on the North Atlantic Ocean at 11:40 p.m.

Ironically, had the ship continued its course and hit the iceberg, the ship would have stayed afloat. However, the sailors instead tried to dodge the iceberg by turning the ship. But because it was sailing too quickly, the ship hit the iceberg, its fatal blow.

The more-than-2,000 passengers felt the “thud,” which made coffee and tea in the dining halls spill on tablecloths, stain women’s dresses, and interrupted conversations. However, the sailors did not alert the passengers. Feeling safe, they continued to enjoy their parties and went to bed after.

However, hours later, the passengers woke up to a sinking ship filling with water. To save themselves, they wore life vests, ran, swam for their lives in freezing seawater, and evacuated into lifeboats while hearing the calm, soothing music of a string quartet.

But the British passenger liner did not have enough lifeboats because planners thought the ship was too strong to sink. And after the ship sank, many of the lifeboats still had room for more passengers, but alas, the ship was not evacuated early enough. Thus, more than 1,300 people died early April 15, 1912. Read more about one of the worst maritime disasters of history in “Sinking of the Titanic”!

“Sinking of the Titanic”
http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/topics/titanicsinking.html


Kaiulani’s Death

Today in history — March 6, 1899 — Princess Victoria Kaiulani left the world at 23 years old. Surrounded by her loved ones, the apparent heir to the throne of the Hawaiian Kingdom died of rheumatism. The Hawaiian Gazette described Kaiulani’s popularity:

Kaiulani was the idol of the natives. The mourning will be deep and general. With the foreign population the young lady was a great favorite. She was a leader in social affairs and charitable enterprises.

Read more about her death and life in the article “Death Calls the Princess.”

“Death Calls the Princess”
Hawaiian gazette, March 7, 1899, Image 1
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025121/1899-03-07/ed-1/seq-1/


Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Died

Today in history — January 22, 1890 — Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku died. He was a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming and surfer who made surfing popular on the U.S. Mainland.

Read more about him in “Duke Kahanamoku.”

Duke Kahanamoku
https://hdnpblog.wordpress.com/historical-articles/duke-kahanamoku-in-u-s-newspapers/


Pau Hana for Hawaii’s Sugar King

This week in history  — December 26, 1908 — Hawaii’s “sugar king,” Claus Spreckels, died after a brief illness. As one of the ten richest Americans, Spreckels dominated the sugar industries on the U.S. West Coast and in Hawaii from mid-1800s until his death. In Hawaii, he owned a plantation town, Spreckelsville, Maui; and incorporated Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company (HC&S).

Today, the name “Matson” is synonymous with Hawaii’s shipping industry–a lifeline for the world’s most isolated population center. In its early years, Spreckels financed William Matson’s ships for his new shipping company.

Spreckels gave loans and bribes to King Kalakaua and cabinet members. In return, Spreckels got land and water rights. The water rights for the Northeast Maui streams included complete ownership and control over the water. He irrigated the water to Spreckelsville plantation.

Read more about the “sugar king” in “Hardy Pioneer and Benefactor of State Died.”

“Hardy Pioneer and Benefactor of State Died”
The San Francisco call, Dec. 27, 1908, Page 18
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1908-12-27/ed-1/seq-18/


King Kamehameha IV’s Death

Today in history–November 30, 1863–King Kamehameha IV, also known as Alexander ʻIolani Liholiho, died. During his reign, Liholiho tried to prevent the United States from conquering the Kingdom of Hawaii and established the Queen’s Medical Center with his wife Queen Emma Rooke.

At age twenty-nine, Liholiho died of chronic asthma a year after the death of his son, Prince Albert. Emma was left as a widow and never remarried.

Read more about the Kingdom of Hawaii’s fourth monarch in “Death of His Majesty Kamehameha IV!”

“Death of His Majesty Kamehameha IV!”
Pacific commercial advertiser, December 3, 1863, Image 2
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015418/1863-12-03/ed-1/seq-2/


100th Anniversary of Jack London’s Death

Today is the 100th anniversary of Jack London’s death. Days before Nov. 22, 1916, the famed American writer was completing a Hawaiian novel. Read about Jack London’s time in Hawaii in “Jack London in Hawaii.”

Jack London in Hawaii
https://hdnpblog.wordpress.com/historical-articles/jack-london-in-hawaii/